There are many software platforms that can help you get started with printing on demand. But which one should you choose? We’ll be reviewing two popular print-on-demand sites: Printful and Society6.
We’ll give you the scoop on every aspect of the platform, so that you can decide which one (if any) is right for your needs.
There is a lot of information available, so let’s get started!
It was founded in 2013 and offers 286 customizable merchandise for you to offer, including home decor, accessories, clothing, and more. Printful says that you only need to follow four simple steps to open an online print-on demand storefront.
- Connect your Shopify store or any other eCommerce platform to create and connect it
- Create your products
- Your products can be added to your store
- Start selling
Printful uses dropshipping to handle printing, packing and shipping. This allows you to focus on selling and attracting potential customers. You don’t need an existing online store to integrate Printful and start creating your products.
Printful’s mockup creator makes it possible to create designs. You can also work offline. If you are constantly on the move and don’t have access to wifi, this may be an option that works better for you. Once you are connected again, you can upload your finished work. You can still review your design before it goes into print or before you sell them.
Let’s say you are a better marketer than you are at designing. Printful’s graphic design service connects you with a professional designer to help transform your product idea into reality.
Printful can also print, store and fulfill your orders, including shipping, if you are looking to create a stock of certain designs.
How Society6 Works
Society6 was founded in 2009 as a platform that promotes the work of 300,000. Independent artists from 160 countries. This demonstrates the fact that every purchase through the platform supports an artist.
For a $1 fee, artists can upload their work to the platform. You can sell your original designs through a variety of mediums including posters, clothing, canvases, furniture, and more.
Artists only need to scan their designs and upload them to Society6 to be able to sell their work. Artists can also adjust their designs to fit different products, from cups to canvas, on Society6. To sell on their own socials, creatives can link their Society6 accounts with their socials. This applies to Instagram, Facebook, as well as their own websites.
Society6 determines the maximum price that an artist can sell. This may prove to be a problem for some. The Society6 blog has valuable posts on how artists can market and make a profit.
Society6 also owns a wholesale brand, Deny Designs. To get your designs seen by both small- and large-scale retailers, artists can apply for this program.
The Society6 trade program is also available. This program offers high-volume retailers, interior designers, hotels and other businesses a more personalized experience with Society6. You get discounts, personalized service and greater scale manufacturing.
Let’s first look at the pros and cons of each platform before we get into more detail.
Printful’s pros and cons
It’s easy to set up, and you don’t even need any technical knowledge.
There are many integrations.
You will have less risk by not paying any set-up or monthly fees.
Branding can be used to identify your products, labels and packaging.
This service includes order fulfillment and warehousing.
Printful is available on both Android and iOS devices. This is great for those who are constantly on the move.
The mockup generator is very easy to use so that the design process doesn’t seem too difficult.
A good selection of nearly 300 customizable products are available.
Customers love the speed with which customer service responds and the solutions provided.
Prints and canvases are not available for shipment.
Only one product design can be edited at a given time.
Printful’s prices can be a bit higher than other platforms.
Printful does not offer analytics built-in.
Society6’s Pros & Cons
Let’s now look at Society6’s drawbacks and benefits.
It is almost free and only $1
It is easy to use
Society6 is great for those just starting out or wanting to get a taste of their designs.
Society6 handles all the heavy lifting so you don’t need to fulfill any orders
Customers have access to exceptional and original designs
Artists get unlimited uploads
Artists have the option to charge a markup royalty on wall art, such as canvas/art print/framed artwork print
Artists receive only 10% of the sale price. Society6 takes the remainder, so it is not possible to make a lot of money using this platform.
Analytics is not available so it is impossible to determine where your traffic is coming.
The price of the product is determined by Society6, and not the artist.
Printful vs Society6: Pricing
Before you start printing on-demand solutions, it is important to determine how much it will cost. Also, consider whether your profit margins are sufficient.
Let’s first look at what Printful will cost you.
It is easy to find Printful’s product catalog. You will find many clothes, accessories and hats here, as well as homeware items. Clothes can be divided into men’s, women’s, and children’s categories.
These prices include the price of the product and printing.
We will lower our shipping costs, which are separate from tax.
Simply put, the larger and thicker the fabric is, the more expensive it will be. Joggers are more expensive than t-shirts. For example, unisex joggers start at $22.50, while men’s teeshirts start at $12.95.
To give you an idea, here are some prices for Printful’s products:
- Pom-pom beanie $13.25
- Women’s cropped hoodie $29.95
- Pillowcase $13.95
- Water bottle $19.95
- Notebook $11.95
- Phone cases $10.95
- Stickers $2.20
- Tote bags $14.95
- Leggings $29.95
Please note that product prices can vary depending on where you are fulfilled. Costs can fluctuate depending on whether your fulfillment location is in the US, Japan, Europe or Australia.
It’s worth looking at the cost of branding labels as well as product costs. This is particularly important if your goal is to put your logo on every piece of packaging. Additional costs will be incurred for this. For example, $2.49 per inside label, $2.49 per outside label, $0.50 per custom packaging, etc.
Because Society6 is slightly different from Printful, it’s not surprising that its pricing structure also differs. Society6 handles all the heavy lifting, as we have already stated. Society6 handles all the shipping and order fulfillment, which means that 90% of sales are taken by it. The artist receives 10% via Paypal. If you wish to sell through Society6, you will need a PayPal account. A $1 fee is required to sign up.
Society6 pays you on the 1st day of each month, after a 30-day grace period. You won’t receive a quick payday so make sure you factor this in.
After you upload your work, you can adjust pricing by adding a royalty on products that have a $ symbol. Society6 will establish a base price and you can increase it. However, this price is not applicable to art prints, canvas prints or framed art prints.
Society6 offers a section that will show you how much you could make if your designs are used on other products. You can access this section only after you have signed up, paid $1 and created an account.
Printful vs. Society6: Integrations
Any ecommerce company knows that every platform they use must be compatible with their website builder, digital shopping cart, or online marketplace.
Printful’s list of native integrations are long and healthy!
Here’s the complete list:
- Launch Cart
- WooCommerce and WordPress
What about Society6?
We couldn’t find any evidence (or any other) on Society6’s site that it offers native integrations for WooCommerce or Shopify.
Why? Society6’s offering is different in that it already offers an online marketplace for artists selling their designs. Society6 doesn’t see any natural attraction to integrating with other companies.
Shipping and Fulfillment
Customers expect prompt and reliable shipping and fulfillment. People don’t want to wait for orders for several weeks. How does Printful and Society6 compare in these areas?
The fulfillment and shipping times for your products will vary depending on what you sell. Order fulfillment for clothing takes anywhere from two to seven business days. Non-apparel items, however, take less time and can take as long as five working days.
Shipping takes a while and the cost of shipping varies depending on where it is being sent. Shipping to the US can take up to four days. It takes two to five days in the UK. In Europe, Asia and South America it takes around six to fourteen days.
Printful provides a guideline for its shopping prices. This is something that sellers should consider when budgeting. Shipping costs depend on the product weight, destination and shipping method.
Again, fulfillment and processing fees vary depending on the order and its destination.
Society6 production times for most items are around three to four days. Credenzas take five to seven working days.
Shipping times will vary depending on where your customers live. Society6 estimates that it takes five to ten days for the standard delivery option to deliver in the US. If you choose expedited delivery, this can be up to two to three days. Rush delivery takes one to two days. Australian buyers can expect to receive their goods in five to ten days. International destinations may take longer, however.
To track the status of their order, customers can see where it is in the fulfillment or delivery chain. You can rest assured that buyers will be kept informed at all stages of the process. This is a great way to improve your shopping experience.
What happens if there are a few questions? Let’s compare how Society6 and Printful do in this very important area.
Printful looks simple at first glance. Contact their customer service team via firstname.lastname@example.org, or via their live chatbox. Email response times typically take around 24 hours. The live chat option was not available at all due to COVID. The company hopes to resume its 24/7 service as soon as possible.
You can also create and send support tickets via their Contacts page.
You can also access an online help centre. You’ll find FAQs, videos tutorials, articles and more. Printful also has an Instagram, Facebook and YouTube presence that is worth checking out if you prefer social media.
Society6’s customer support is available from 10 am to 6pm (PST), Monday through Sunday. Customers receive a 60 day money-back guarantee.
A quick glance at the reviews shows that this platform does not score well on review sites such as Trustpilot or Reddit. At the time of writing, there were 65 complaints against The Better Business Bureau. There are many complaints, but the most common topics include poor quality products, slow shipping times and difficult returns procedures.
Artists can find self-help guides at:
- How to convert social media followers into customers
- How to promote your work
- How do you know which designs are most popular?
- How to make money using social media
Artists who aren’t sure which pixel dimensions they should use when uploading artwork to Society6 can get help.
Packaging and branding
Perhaps your goal is to create an entire online brand offering customers a variety of products. Packaging and branding are crucial if you have this goal. This section could still be relevant to artists. You may also want to sell your designs on other products, not just canvas.
Printful doesn’t display its logo on your packaging. You can also customize your Printful packaging to promote your business.
You can, for example, print your logo on packaging and packing slips. Personalizprintfed items, such as flyers and thank you slips that are handwritten, can be added to your orders.
For extra protection, fragile items should be packed in corrugated boxes.
Printful’s poly bags can also be recycled from low-density, recyclable polyethylene.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, no information was available about whether artists could produce or supply their own packaging. There was also no information on how the items were packaged.
Redbubble: How it Works
Redbubble was founded in 2006. It is also a print-on-demand solution. It functions in the same manner as Printful. Redbubble does not allow you to integrate with any of your websites. Redbubble, instead, is a marketplace that allows buyers to purchase custom products you have created and posted on Redbubble.
Redbubble is therefore more targeted towards designers. Redbubble provides creatives with an easy way to monetize their art. This platform is used by more than 700,000 artists at the time this article was written.
This is Redbubble’s model for online sellers:
- You first need to create a Redbubble Account.
- Next, upload your artwork.
- Once you are happy with the design, create a title, description, and as many tags (keywords as possible) for your product.
- Finally, publish your product.
- It’s currently available on Redbubble.
Before you begin designing, it is important to be familiar with the product’s design model. You can then create your designs offline, and upload them to your Redbubble account. Redbubble allows you to upload all media and art types. This will be a great news!
To ensure high-quality printing quality, high-resolution images will be required. If you are designing something with transparent backgrounds, it is best to upload the image in a PNG format.
After you have uploaded your designs, it is possible to edit them across multiple products. This saves you tons of time. You can list as many as 60 products on your Redbubble storefront!
The customer views Redbubble as a place to shop for what they are looking for. Redbubble prints your artwork onto the right item, and then ships it to you if they like it.
Redbubble credits your account with a portion of the sale price (AKA, a royalty). Redbubble then releases the funds to your bank or Paypal account once per month, provided you have $20 or more.
If you do not meet the threshold, you will have to wait one year before funds are released.
Redbubble’s pros and cons
Redbubble is next…
- Redbubble’s platform makes it easy to get started
- Printful is the same as Printful in that there are no setup or monthly fees.
- You have a wide selection of high-quality products available to you
- Redbubble’s customer service is outstanding.
- Redbubble has built-in analytics.
- Redbubble, an online marketplace with all the features you need, makes it easy to sell. Redbubble has a high traffic volume each month and runs retargeting ads.
- There are many user support guides.
- Multiple products can be edited at once.
- Redbubble products’ prices fluctuate – you will need to be aware of this and adjust your retail prices accordingly.
- Your packaging and products cannot be branded.
- To receive your earnings, you will need to wait for a month.
- Integrations with eCommerce platforms are not possible.
- Prices can vary among products. For instance, prices for dark and light fabrics may be different.
- It can be difficult to get customers to notice your company.
Redbubble product prices can change from time to time, so make sure you check the current rates before setting your margins. If you are looking to sell clothes, your base cost will be anywhere from $15 to $45. Redbubble’s most expensive product category is home decor. Duvet covers can cost over $100.
Wall art can be sold for between $14 and $30 depending upon the type of print and card. Metal prints, however, are more expensive and can cost between $50-300.
Redbubble does not have any native integrations to allow you to link Shopify’s store or any other eCommerce shop with your Redbubble account at the time. Redbubble was designed to be an online marketplace with all the features. This is why they insist on sticking to it. Redbubble also supports third-party tools such as Google Analytics and Google Maps.
Redbubble Fulfillment & Shipping
Redbubble ships worldwide, just like Printful. Redbubble does not deliver to Cuba or Sudan, North Korea and Syria.
Redbubble partners have services such as FedEx, UPS, DHL and UPS that you can trust to deliver your orders. Shipping times can vary depending on where the customer is located, what shipping method they choose, and what product they are purchasing. Local orders can sometimes be shipped in less than two working days. Orders from further afield, however, can take up three to five working days.
Redbubble ships only on business days, just like Printful.
Redbubble offers customers an order tracker that allows them to keep an eye on the status of their orders in real time.
Redbubble’s shipping cost fluctuates, which is quite interesting. Redbubble’s shipping costs fluctuate, but as an online seller, this is not something you need to worry about. Shipping is handled directly between Redbubble, your customer, and Redbubble. Shipping costs will be calculated at the checkout page by the buyer. This depends on the shipping method chosen, origin and destination of shipment and order contents.
Redbubble Customer Support
Redbubble provides 24/7 customer service, but it is not available via email or live chat. Redbubble will instead require that you send a direct message to them via Twitter. According to Redbubble, you will get a response almost immediately! You can also ping customer support. In general, you will receive a response within 24 hours.
Redbubble also offers a comprehensive help section for buyers and sellers. You’ll find here resources that cover almost every Redbubble procedure.
You can also follow their social media accounts across Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. If you want to keep up-to-date with Redbubble’s latest news, this is something worth doing.
Redbubble Quality and Design
Redbubble has partnerships with numerous printing companies and fulfillment centres across the US, Australia and Canada. Redbubble products have been carefully chosen to ensure high quality and ethically-sourced. A quick Google search reveals that most customers are satisfied with Redbubble’s products and prints.
Redbubble Packaging and Branding
Redbubble packaging is different from Printful. It varies depending on what the item is. The majority of apparel and stickers are shipped in poly bags. Framed art, on the other hand, is shipped in boxes, posters and tubes.
Redbubble’s product packaging, unlike Printful’s, is printed with Redbubble branding. This makes sense, considering that your customers will be purchasing directly from Redbubble rather than your online store.